Rachel FosterMay 8, 2018
Rachel Foster is an entrepreneurship educator in Kansas City. She believes that people
deserve goodness, that we are leaving a lot of neighborhoods behind, and that children deserve equal opportunity to become great leaders. She believes in the healing power of running and connecting with the community around you. She also believes Kansas City has the creativity and energy to be the MECA (Most Entrepreneurial City in America.) She may not know what tomorrow will bring, but she embraces every day as a chance to do something incredible.
What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?
What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?
WOW! Being involved was the best part of Truman State. I had a KTRM-FM radio show, I was a football and basketball cheerleader all 4 years, a tour guide in the admissions office as well as a tele-counselor. During my junior and senior years I served on the Homecoming Committee, and I wrote several publications for Detours Magazine. I was a member of Tau Lambda Sigma service sorority all 4 years, and an SA (student advisor) in Dobson Hall during my sophomore year.
What was your first job after graduation?
Did you go to grad school? If so, where? Was it immediately after you left Truman or did you wait? Why?
I did attend grad school through Teach For America. It was immediately after I graduated at Truman due to the nature of the program. I now have a Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Missouri- St. Louis.
What work do you do/What are you doing now?
Three years later, I am still in the classroom. I am writing my own entrepreneurship program for kindergarten through 8th grade. It is really fun and innovative!
How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?
It has really developed my ability to communicate as an advocate for Teach For America, for my school community, and other under-served neighborhoods in Kansas City (where my heart lies). I think that my liberal arts education has opened a lot of doors for me through my TFA experience, too. I feel really well-rounded and able to attain different types of careers and jobs, regardless of my “concentration.”
Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?
I was most frustrated by the requirement of taking 4 semesters of Spanish through my bachelor of arts degree. It was so hard. I didn’t have a strong foundation for foreign language, nor did I make the time it takes to truly learn a language. That being said– I learned a lot about dedication and grinding out when things are out of your comfort zone and interests.
What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?
I’d say that my biggest accomplishment at Truman was my final semester. I had blown my knee at a cheerleading competition at Baker University and had to make BIG lifestyle changes all while finishing out my last semester at Truman. It took so much strength, positivity, and concentration to power through. From “crutching” to-and-from campus, sometimes three times per day, to continuing campus tours and enjoying my social life before graduation. I am stronger and better for it now!
Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?
Truman has hundreds of student organizations to get involved in. Also, the Truman culture encourages you to create relationships with your professors and classmates. You will leave well-rounded and prepared to engage with the world in a meaningful way, regardless of what you do after Truman.
What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?
HAVE A KTRM SHOW! They are a blast and it is one of the biggest radio stations in the community. Not only do you learn quickly how to be a DJ, you can experiment with what your show vibe should be. I loved every second of being on the air.
What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?
Spend time in your relationships, be kind to others, seek to understand those you dislike the most. I believe that this is what creates a culture that changes the world for the better.
What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?
I miss walking everywhere. We don’t walk around like that in Kansas City. Take advantage of that!
If you could come back to Truman and teach a class for a semester, what would be its title and what would it be about?
Culturally Responsive Communication/Journalism – The course would be about how to appropriately and honestly share stories and participate in the journalism of communities of minorities/under-served people.
What did we not ask that you think is important for people to know?
Life is what you make of it. Go out, be brave, ask for help when you need, give help when others need it, and do your best!
EDITOR’S NOTE – Rachel has been featured in local news a couple of times. Once on KSHB-TV for winning a $6000 grant to create Kansas City Studio 119, a maker’s space, at Lee A. Tolbert Community Academy, and in this KCUR-FM report. She wouldn’t brag about it, so we did.
If you would like to hear more of Rachel’s story, you can follow her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or her class’ Instagram page.